Mental Disorder

Mental Disorder

Social Security disability was designed to provide assistance to disabled individuals who are unable to work. In addition to medical conditions and physical impairment, certain mental disorders can allow an individual to receive benefits. As mental disorders can result in extensive physical and mental limitations that limit a person's ability to work, receiving benefits is often a necessity. If you or a loved one is interested in applying for Social Security disability for a mental disorder, Shook & Stone can provide our compassionate support and legal services to help swiftly and successfully resolve your case.

Determining Disability

Determining if an individual is disabled is the most important step of the SSD process. As with any physical condition, injury or illness, mental disorders or impairments must be severe enough to prevent a person from working. The Social Security Administration adheres to their strict definition of disability as any condition that prevents a person from working for at least one year and from finding new work. In order to classify the common types of mental disorders that qualify for disability benefits, the SSA arranges disorders into nine diagnostic categories, including:

  • Organic mental disorders
  • Schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders
  • Affective disorders
  • Mental retardation
  • Anxiety related disorders
  • Somatoform disorders

When evaluating the nature and scope of disability, Disability Determination Services (DDS), the organization in charge of disability assessments, will carefully review your medical information, documented disorder and any other independent evaluations they conduct. Evaluations will focus on the degree of impairment and an applicant's residual functional capacity (RFC). Whether you are approved or denied SSD benefits will depend on your abilities, as supported by your RFC, to do any substantial gainful activity or work. There are also other mental disorders not on the official SSA list of conditions for which applicants can receive benefits, depending on the level and severity of impairment.

Difficulties with Mental Disorder Applications

Despite the numerous requirements for in depth medical evaluations, documentation and supporting evidence of a disabling mental disorder, the Social Security Administration still makes many mistakes in the approval or denial of applicants with mental disorders. One of the most prominent risks these applicants face includes disability examinations conducted by the wrong medical professionals. The DDS and SSA routinely fail to have licensed psychiatric professionals and other experts analyze applicants with mental disorders.

In addition, many of the signs and symptoms of mental disorders can be misleading and difficult to measure objectively. This can result in an incorrect determination that an applicant has the capacity to work and will therefore not be considered disabled. In order to ensure that applicants with mental disorders have the best chance of reaching a successful outcome, our qualified attorneys will work diligently to compile ample medical information and provide the support and resources needed to strengthen claims.

Contact Shook & Stone for Help

Having helped numerous clients swiftly and successfully complete the Social Security disability process, we have also encountered many cases involving mental disorders. The fact of the matter is that mental disorders can be incredibly disabling, placing great physical and mental limitations on individuals. As such, we make it a point to provide our legal assistance and support to those struggling with mental disorders. By working closely with disabled applicants and their families, we have gained a solid understanding of how impairments affect their lives and why disability benefits are so essential to their personal and financial well-being.

With this type of hands on experience, our attorneys are prepared to successfully handle your case. Using our 85 years of combined experience, earnest commitment to clients and extensive knowledge of the ways disability determinations are made, Shook & Stone can work with you to compile a strong claim that can help you obtain the benefits you need. Contact our firm today.

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